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  MSNBC    The Rachel Maddow Show    News/Business. Politics, pop  
   culture and today's top stories.  

    November 17, 2012
    6:00 - 7:00am EST  

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who will turn out to shop small. small business saturday. visit shopsmall.com and get ready. because your day is coming. what a week this has been. whoever packs president obama's bags is busy. prepping for the president's big trip that starts tomorrow. he's going to asia tomorrow. no sitting u.s. president has ever visited the nation of cambodia before, but president obama is about to do so. no sitting u.s. president has ever visited burma, either. but president obama is about to go there too. no president has ever done that. when he's there, he will meet with the opposition leader. aung san suu kyi. while he's there. one interesting side note on president obama making this historic trim to burma. which is also called myanmar. in 2009, before the u.s. government decided that they were ready to send a sitting president to that country, we apparently first decided that we
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were ready to send a rock band to that comprehend. specifically the band ozo motley. the state department under a brand new president obama in 2009 authorized the great l.a. latin fusion band to go tour burma. a sort of ambassadors for u.s. culture in that notoriously closed off authoritarian part of the world. burma has only finally ended military rule there as of last year. after president obama makes his visit there this weekend, we have now learned we're going to be sending another american musical act to follow up the president's trip. this time it's going to be singer/songwriter jason mraz. that's how you say it, right? mraz. he's scheduled to play a gig december 16? in rangoon. he's going to be playing outdoors free of charge. only the second time after ozo motley that any western musical
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act has been there in decades. even though we expect democrats and republicans to fight over everything these days, the associated press notes that republican senate leader mitch mcconnell has for a long time taken a special interest in burma, as a senator. he has not held back in praising president obama for taking this big historic trip to that once totally-closed country. president obama on this trip is due to meet with the japanese prime minister and the chinese premier. those two countries fighting over who controls some islands in the east china sea. the whole trip to asia comes in the midst of a very scary flare-up between israel and gaza. we do not know exactly what started this most recent round of fighting, but we do know that an israeli air strike killed the top commander of hamas in gaza on wednesday, and we know then that that was followed by rocket attacks aimed at southern israel and then tel aviv, and then today jerusalem. israel has been pounding gaza with air strikes. the attacks appeared to be rapidly escalating including
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signs that israel is preparing for a ground incursion into gaza. "the new york times" citing reports of israeli tanks massing on the border with gaza. amid all of this in the world, today washington was consumed with two major issues. the first was the start of negotiations to head off a deliberate crisis that d.c. created for itself so they could come to a few new deal between the parties and between the president and congress on spending and taxes and the deficit. that negotiation started today. the white house said top level white house staffers will be continuing those negotiations that started today, even while the president is off on this big, historic trip to asia. the other thing consuming washington today is many tentacled congressional investigation into what happened in libya back in september when the u.s. ambassador and three other americans were killed in an attack on a u.s. consulate there. in the midst of his own still-unfolding sex scandal the
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recently and suddenly resigned head of the cia, david petraeus, testified to congress today about libya behind closed doors. we'll have more on that in a moment. but while all of this is unfolding in american politics, globally and in washington, there's a whole other level of things unfolding in american politics that's happening further down the food chain. what's happening there, i think, is rather off the hook. in a way that might end up being good news for the country ultimately. but for now, it's just worth seeing. >> debate is firing up over a controversial seminar that's being held at the state capitol. >> at that forum republican leaders warned the obama administration it's using mind control to manipulate all of us. we show the forum, that was all caught on camera. >> how psyched was the guy at the cbs station in atlanta who was asked to make that graphic for that segment, right? okay, we're going to need a
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graphic that has president obama on it. okay. and since he's president, maybe throw in an american flag. okay. what's the theme? it's about mind control. so give us something with president obama and a flag and the words "mind control" and whatever other imagery might get across the mind control idea at a glance. amazing. the story was based on this video shot by the group better georgia inside a four-hour-long seminar conducted by the republican caucus in the georgia state senate. republicans are the majority in there and the state senate president convened this four-hour event for republican senators to learn about how president obama was using cold war era mind control techniques to trick americans into turning ourselves over to the united nations for, you know, one world government and enslavement. if you want some historical perspective, it's simple. there's stalin, death toll 7 million. there's mao, death toll 17
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million to 40 million. and then there's president obama -- results, see at the bottom there? tbd. this was one of the slides from the presentation at the georgia state capitol for republican state senators. back for more to cbs atlanta. >> it was a four-hour meeting about how the united nations is using a mind control technique developed during the cold war to secretly steal away america's freedoms. >> seth clark of the political watch dog group veteran georgia videotaped part of the briefing before he was tossed out. >> usually when you've got somebody talking about mind control and up these problems at the united nations, that person is wearing a tinfoil hat. the thing that concerns us is the person wearing the tinfoil hat appears to be our senate majority leader. >> reporter: the head of georgia's democratic party said he has no idea why republican senate majority leader chip rogers sponsored the agenda 21 seminar. >> the republican senate majority leader did convene that meeting to talk about president
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obama's mind control plot to take over america. and then better georgia shot video of it and that ended up on the local news with the amazing graphics. then it ended up in the atlanta journal constitution and other georgia newspapers. and then it got national coverage. and mother jones and huffington post and elsewhere. and then, then, interestingly, it was the end of that republican majority leader in the georgia state senate. yes, he stepped down. the guy who inspired headlines about the lunacy infiltrating state leaders, he's gone after this. because even though this guy was apparently okay before, he was the longest-serving senate majority leader in georgia history, now, now, now apparently that kind of nonsense means you have to go. it's interesting, right? same deal, seemingly, with the lunacy this week out of the main republican party, totally different part of the country, slightly different type of lunacy. but here's how it manifests. this is the chairman of the
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maine republican party. >> you still think we have a system full of fraud? >> i do. i'm going to do a mailing right off. in some parts of the state, in some parts of rural maine, there were dozens, dozens of black people who came in and voted election day. everybody has a right to vote. but nobody in town knows anybody that's black. how did it happen? i don't know. we're going to find out. i -- i -- i think it's a problem. >> do we need to litigate how nuts that is? can we just agree how nuts that is? that's the head of the republican party in maine who initially defended his dozens of black people comments by saying he could not possibly be racist or have meant that in a racist way because he plays basketball with a black man regularly. seriously, that was his explanation. that's what he told talking points memo. there is nothing about me that would be discriminatory. i play basketball every sunday with a black guy. i repeat.
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state republican party chairman, state chairman, ultimately this week after the, i know a black man who plays basketball claim, miraculously did not tamp down the furor over his comments. maine's republican party chairman apologized and took it back. but here again, it is less important that someone is -- right, and it's super out there in something like this. what's important is not that somebody thinks that stuff or says that stuff or does that stuff. what's important here is that it is starting to not be okay anymore. the republican who just ran the republican u.s. senate campaign in maine in this election responded to what happened with the maine republican party chairman there by saying, here on twitter, oh, my god, this guy has got to go. the the last republican candidate for governor in the state is saying publically, oh my god, this guy has got to go. this is not democrats and liberals criticizing the guy. this is the republican saying this guy cannot be our chairman. and he's going to be going. what it feels like from the main press and from political observers in the state, that the only reason they are not
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throwing that chairman out is because he is going voluntarily, essentially right now. he's leaving as chair of the party on december 1st. but this phenomenon out in the proverbial provinces, out in the georgia state senate, out in the state party in maine, is sort of what's going on in republican politics right now. you can see it at the national level too. at the republican governors association meeting, in the senate right now, republicans who have ambitions for their futures are falling all over themselves right now to distance themselves from, and criticize, the arguably crazy comments from the party's presidential nominee mitt romney. the comments he made when he attributed his election loss to some complicated bribery scheme involving green cards and contraception and the democratic party buying votes with those things. if not for that he would have won, everything else went perfectly. it is less important that mr. romney said those things this week than it is that the party has reacted the way it has. that the party is policing him in effect for saying it. in trying to figure out who the
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republican party is going to be next, how they are going to bounce back from this big loss they have just felt, all across the country, in their politics at the national level and below that, republicans are starting to try to disassociate themselves from the crazy. some republicans are. more than used to. i don't want to say it's a hard and fast rule. it can very easily be disproven, but i think it's happening more than it used to happen. and given that, now, here's my question. is that dynamic at work in the republican party in the country at large right now also translating to a shutdown of that party's benghazi conspiracy theory nonsense? is it translating to that too or are we going to keep on keeping on with that. joining us now is the host of msnbc's weekend morning show "up with chris hayes" he's the author of "twilight of the elite." it's lovely to have you here. >> can i just say that the
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ozomotli burma detail is the quintessential rachel maddow show? that's amazing in so many ways. >> i can't tell you how much time i spent worrying about the adjectives about how would he like to be described? latin hip-hop fusion? is that okay? would they like rock to be there? i never really thought of them as a rock band. i get distracted. tell me how this plays out, chris. tell me if i have rose-colored glasses on looking at the republican dynamic of seeing them trying to resist the crazy. am i cherry picking here? or is this really happening? >> i think it's a combination of both. it's aspirational. i think the question is, to use a conservative notion, right, people respond to incentives. the question now is, who are those incentives acting upon? i think it's a particularly important question at the national level with the kind of entrenched senate aristocracy of republicans which is who are they worried about beating them? someone like john mccain isn't that worried. and is a little bit off the reservation and he has been the
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most vocal voice pushing this in certain ways. and it's hard to see whether those incentives are going to rein him in. the question is do other people who do care about their political future and have national aspirations, as we said, if they're more likely to walk away from this conspiracy that's going happening. >> we saw harry reid shut down the idea of there being a senate select committee, a mega investigation along the lines of watergate on this. we also saw resistance to that idea from richard mur, susan collins, joe lieberman, from republican secretary -- republican speaker of the house john boehner. i felt like that all isolated john mccain a lot. but you know, maybe he stands alone in terms of his influence on foreign policy matters. >> i think he does. but there's distance emerging between him and where everyone else is. and partly, we should remember this was very -- this was wielded as a cover in the run-up
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to the election partly because there was this hope, and you would see it all over conservative blogs, and twitter streams, that this was the thing that was going to turn around the election and the mainstream media, because they wanted to get barack obama elected were ignoring the facts of the matter. after the election, because i think people used it in incredibly cynical fashion, there's a little less energy behind the kind of conspiracy mongering except for john mccain who is just in it until the end. >> but then today, the reason this was an important question today, today the talking points that were given to u.n. ambassador susan rice after the benghazi attack, those talking points were published. >> yes. >> and if those talking points are what she was given to say, she hued essentially exactly to what she was briefed to say by the intelligence agency. so on the matter of her and whether she's the architect of the great coverup and can't be secretary of state and all these other things, i felt like today that settled it factually. >> i absolutely think it settled it factually but i also think --
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i guess i want to distinguish between two different trends that happened in the modern republican party. there's this conspiracy mongering and this believing your own ridiculousness that i think happens. dick morris was calling into that agenda 21 briefing. down in georgia. i mean the guy -- that's a fairly prominent person in the american right these days. >> herding us in to the point with them. >> right. so there's that at one end. then there's the nihilistic obstruction. and the war on susan rice seems to be more in that latter category. whatever theories that they are picking up that happen to be by their side so they can wound her are much more about this kind of implacable project of political obstruction and destruction that has been a defining feature of republicans, particularly in congress, have conducted themselves in the obama era than it is the kind of association with the crazy fringe. >> and i got nancy pelosi on the road on that subject yesterday in a clip we have not played, from that interview but we're going to play in just a second. her reaction to that -- her diagnosis of that on the
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republican side and how she says it has been different in the past is fascinating and that's coming up. and it's apparently mraz. >> can i just say, every day, i get into my show and there's nine names that i forget to check the pronunciation. >> i thought it was mraz. i'm sorry mr. mraz. chris hayes, host of "up with chris hayes." i'm going to call it upha. ometh? campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque. see what's new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. out for drinks, eats. i have very well fitting dentures. i like to eat a lot of fruits. love them all. the seal i get with the super poligrip free
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citi price rewind. buy now. save later. ♪ don't know what i'd do ♪ i'd have nothing to prove ♪ i'd have nothing to lose [ male announcer ] zales is the diamond store. take an extra 10 percent off storewide, now through sunday. what do you think of elizabeth warren? do you like it? >> the system is rigged. look around. oil companies guzzle down billions in profits. billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. and wall street ceos, the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs still strut around congress demanding favors and acting like we should thank them. does anyone here have a problem with that?
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i do too. i do too. if that's how you got elected and everybody in the country not just everybody in local old massachusetts, but everybody in the country knows that is who you are and that's how you got elected, then you heading up to the united states senate is a story of national significance. it's significant enough to that "the new york times" is the hometown paper of wall street. and when wall street's hometown paper writes about elizabeth warren going to washington, it's possible you're also going to get the word "fear" into that headline. during the campaign elizabeth warren did not try to disabuse anybody of the notion that she intends to be a senator of consequence. she told new york magazine before she was elected quote if the notion is we're going to elect somebody to the united states senate so they can be the 100th least senior person in there and be polite and somewhere in their fourth or fifth year do some bipartisan
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bill that nobody cares about, then don't vote for me. in other words i'm planning on getting stuff done, yo, from the get-go. and now, now, news, we know what elizabeth warren wants to do first. senator-elect elizabeth warren this week planted her first flag in terms of what she wants to do with her new job. and it is district. and it is to the point. check this out. on the first day that the senate is in session and only on that day, there's something important that can happen. the senate that day decides its rules. right now if any one senator wants to block legislation, they can basically just say they want to block it and presto it's blocked. instant filibuster. which then means you need not a majority but a 60-vote super majority to get anything passed through that body. it was not supposed to be like that. the constitution established super majorities for some things, but for rare things like amending the constitution or ratifying treaties. and yes, minorities of senators could hold stuff up in that
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body. but the filibuster was really rarely used. that's how it was. that is not how it is anymore. now the republican minority in the senate uses it for everything. for just generic run of the mill routine business. they have made a 60-vote threshold, a super majority threshold, the new normal for anything. but the rule that has let that become the new normal, the rule that's let the republican minority do that so easily, fundamentally change the way our democracy works, that rule can be changed. specifically it can be changed on that one day. on day one of the you? senate by a simple up or down majority vote. and elizabeth warren, the rising senator from massachusetts, says let's do it. in an article titled "the first week of january", which is when the new senate could do this, soon to be senator elizabeth warren says, quote, senate republicans have used the filibuster 380 times since the democrats took over the majority in '06. we've seen filibusters to block judicial nominations, jobs bills, political transparency, ending big oil subsidies, you
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name it, there has been a filibuster. we've seen filibusters of bills and nominations that ultimately pass with 90 or more votes. why filibuster something with that kind of support just to slow down the process and keep the senate from working. on the first day of the new session in january, the senators will have a unique opportunity to change the filibuster rule. with a majority vote. i'm joining senator jeff markly and six other newly elected senators to pledge to lead this reform on day one. and procedurally speaking she is right, it can be done that way. veteran senators jeff merkley of oregon, tom clark of iowa, have long advocated for at least that kind of reform. at least the kind of reform where senators have to work for a filibuster. they have to stand up there and talk for as long as they want to hold something up. they can't just do it easy. by saying so. those senators have been building support for tweaking the rules for the new session that starts after the new year. and almost all of the rest of the newly elected democratic senators are standing with those
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reformers and with elizabeth warren on this. remember they only need a majority. elizabeth warren was a national figure before she ever ran for the senate. which means she's poised to be the most-watched freshman in washington as of january. in her campaign, she made it clear she was going to be a different kind of senator. she said she was not going to go to washington to build a quote, long, illustrious career in the senate. she wanted to go and make some changes. so now for the most-watched newbie in the country, we know what day one is going to be about. fixing that stupid filibuster. that's day one. then there's the next six years after that. i always wait until the last minute.
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the flu comes on fast, so ask your doctor about tamiflu. prescription for flu. everybody wants to meet a president and unless you're a swing voter in iowa or ohio, there's no guarantee you ever will meet an american president. but that doesn't mean you might not ever meet a life-size cutout of the president. or you might meet a flat first lady, even if you yourself are the president. and it's not just presidents from this century. if you need a fourth, lincoln very handy with the short iron. all this evidence of people not meeting a president but making do with the next best thing and enjoying themselves in the process, this evidence has everything to do with tonight's best new thing in the world. coming up at the end of the show. it's worth the wait. oh, cloudy glasses. you didn't have to come over! actually, honey, i think i did...
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there being federal standards, federal advancement for the states to get their acts together? >> as you know the electoral system is a state function. but in a federal election, we should be able to pass legislation that people should be able to vote in one our or two hours, and the rest of these long lines are an obstacle. they are a form of voter suppression. whether it's money suffocating the air out of the airways with endless money. whether it's suppressing the vote through regulation or state laws, or it's just telling people that this is poisoning the debate so people throw up my hands, i don't want to vote. all of it is really an obstacle to participation. i'm pursuing this, there should be a national law for federal elections that says that people should be able to vote in a reasonable amount of time, that these long lines are designed to suppress the vote.
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>> is that -- one of the things i have been trying to understand since the election is what in congress is now politically doable that wasn't politically doable before. and some of the ideas are the same, but the prospects of passage are different now that we have gone through the election process. would you put election reform as doable and what else has crossed over the line because of the election results? >> electoral reform will be public sentiment is everything. and i think the public sentiment is there for saying enough already with all the money and all the commercials and the length of time these campaigns take place so we can exploit that opportunity to make change. it's a great organizing tool throughout the country. not even in a partisan way, but in a democratic way. and i think that sufficient activism, don't agonize, organize. sufficient activism on the
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outside, mobilization there, helps us maneuver to get something done in that regard. i would certainly hope that the budget issues, that that has changed with the election. the president was clear about the wealthy paying their fair share in the election. the public supports that overwhelmingly in all the polls. even if they didn't vote for president obama, they support the wealthy paying their fair share. so hopefully the need and the ability of republicans to vote for that has been improved. i don't know. it remains to be seen. the president says he's going to send immigration. i would certainly hope that the participation of so many people in the electoral process sends a clear message that we have to think in a different way about the value of immigration to our country and not in the way that it has been presented by those who oppose comprehensive
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immigration reform, just to name a few. >> when you look ahead to the next congress, the rights of the minority in the house are. but you have a decision to be made about how your caucus is going to work with john boehner and his caucus in the house. do you see it as working out any differently in the next congress than it did in the last one? >> it depends on what level of cooperation and respect is extended to the president of the united states. when i was speaker and president bush was president, we worked together and we passed an energy bill and passed a rebate bill that was refundable. i worked for the biggest global aids initiative ever. so we were able to do things working together. more than that even. so the idea that a congress would come in as they did in the
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majority and say to the president, never, never work for you, even when he was extending the hand of friendship to say how can we work together for republicans, was something quite different than any of us had ever seen before. but sure, i worked with president bush. i stand always ready to work in a bipartisan fashion. that's what we came here to do. the last two years is a quite a different phenomenon. as much as people like to think it's been going on for a long time, it reared its head in the '90s when republicans impeached president clinton, tried to impeach -- well, they did impeach president clinton, but we offered cooperation to a republican president. i hope they will offer cooperation to president obama. we stand ready to work in a bipartisan way with speaker boehner and the republicans in congress. we have regional concerns that are not partisan. we have issues of human rights in the world that are not
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partisan where we have come together in a bipartisan way and sometimes in disagreement with our own leadership or our own white house in the past. so i think the american people expect and deserve a bipartisanship to take place and let's hope that it's there because then we'll get our most sustainable solutions. we come here to find common ground. if we can't find it, we have to stand our ground. but we have a responsibility to try. >> before heading into today's so-called fiscal cliff negotiations with the white house and the republicans in congress, you heard there the top democrat in the house, nancy pelosi, telling me in an exclusive interview, her first interview after announcing that she would stand again to be house democratic leader, that the republican attitude toward president obama these past two years is an aberrant thing. it should not be seen as normal. when she was speaker and george w. bush was president, they were
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able to get a reasonable amount of stuff done together, despite their obvious and giant differences. she said she, pengts john boehner will now have to start thinking about governing in much the same way. joining us is john stanton. washington bureau chief at buzz speed and one of my favorite people to talk to about capitol hill. thank you for being here. >> it's good to be here. >> what do you think seems newly possible now? election reform? filibuster reform in the senate? anything on immigration? does any of that seem viable to you? >> i hate to be a wet blanket, but immigration reform, yes. there's certainly a possibility that immigration reform in some manner could be done. the problem there, though, frankly is that john boehner has come out and said, look, i want to do this. we learned a lesson from the election. a lot of republicans feel they need to do something. the problem is when you start to dig into what they are saying f you look at what john boehner said earlier this week, he said
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first we want to do this in a step by step approach. we want to do border and then something on visas, and we want to then do some other things. that's very much what republicans have been saying for the last several years. they don't want to do a comprehensive deal. they want to do piecemeal sort of what they call around here rifle shot legislation. and advocates of immigration reform are very opposed to that. because they understand that if you don't keep them all together, you're not going to get the coalition of people to get a bill through the house, particularly. so that may be the best shot. i think election reform is going to be difficult unless it's sort of top line stuff on, you know, donations and things like that, where you sort of -- transparency kind of things. that might get through. and filibuster reform is something that everyone has always talked about. if you're in the majority, you really want it. if you're in the minority, you absolutely don't. and if you're in the majority, sort of behind the scenes you realize eventually you're going
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to be in the minority and you're not going to want it. so i don't know. i hate to say it, but i think we're going to have at least two more years of a very similar kind of situation. >> you're not being a wet blanket, but you're being damp. but let me follow up on that idea of rifle-shot legislation about very narrowly targeted stuff. that doesn't in a comprehensive way take on any of our big, complicated problems, but does pry off some of the stuff that we can get people to agree on. on the very big issue of the bush tax cuts, president obama wants those expiring tax rates broken into two parts. extend the bush tax rates for income under quarter million dollars and hold a separate debate, break it off, in terms of what happens on income higher than that. could that happen? >> it actually could. there's been an interesting thing going on within the republican party in the house the last couple days, particularly the last week since the election. there are a lot of members that are now saying, you know, we may be open to this. especially if you get a high above $1 million. we might be willing to accept
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that. which is definitely a change. there are members of the republican party willing to do that a few years ago, they sort of became less so after 2010 with the tea party election. they are not coming back to that. the big problem there was going to be john boehner. he has been very explicit about his position on this. he says we're not going to raise tax rates. we can increase revenues by getting rid of some of the loopholes and deduction, but he doesn't want to see that. that's very much an explicit tax increase. the other things are tax increases, but you can fudge in how you talk about it. and how you score it and that kind of thing. so it could, if enough pressure comes on leadership and if they feel like they get a majority, they might be able to pull it off. >> the key there is the faster that it happens, the more likely it is to happen and the longer it drags on, the less likely it gets.
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john stanton, thank you very being with us. appreciate it. >> sure. best new thing in the world, flat earth edition in a good way, is straight ahead. copd makes it hard to breathe, but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day.
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i was a combat correspondent
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a journalist for the marine core. camera in one hand and a rifle in the other. and a story teller's worst nightmare is becoming the story. so there i was, one fateful day in may. when an improvised explosive device tore through the 26-ton vehicle, filled with marines, chow, ammunition, throwing us ten feet into the air. six men to my right, some fathers, all sons, gave their lives. how i didn't make seven god only knows. and i believed that it is for this purpose so that i may share with you the things that i have
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witnessed so that you will know the things that you demand of us and we gladly provide. i get to share these stories with you. things that all of us should know. i'm blessed. there are things in my life now, blessings i can count that may have never existed. i can connect with fellow warriors in ways that others can't because i understand what it means to transition home, how difficult it can be. but in all respects, my transition has been easy.
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because you see my scars. i wear my uniform everywhere i go. but there are those among us in our community, in our families who have scars that are never seen. and i hurt for them. as you should. it's not easy. that's the burden we carry for our country. i didn't do -- i almost cussed, that's close. a darn thing. you see the marine corps is a department of the navy so i can cuss like a sailor, but i'm a marine, i'm better than that. so --
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i didn't do a darn thing in the military alone. not once did i stand by myself. i can't see a greater national travesty. is it any worse, ask yourself, any worse to leave a wounded man in battle than to have him return home and struggle alone? >> retired marine corporal aaron mankin, speaking for a dinner this weekend for iraq and afghanistan veterans of america. as we are still figuring out,
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often still struggling to figure out how to do right by the veterans who have been fighting our drawn-out wars for the past 11 years now, barely noticed in washington this week was the confirmation hearing for the general who would take over the war that is still raging in afghanistan. even less noticed this week was the start of negotiations in kabul for how long we're staying after we're supposedly ending that war at the end of 2014. those negotiations started yesterday. yesterday on this show the top democrat in the house nancy pelosi told me in an exclusive interview, first one since announcing she's staying on as the top democrat in congress, she told me she would like to see the end of 2014 time line for afghanistan moved up. she said that she would like to see us draw down faster. ever watch chris matthews' weekend show? he does "hardball" during the week but on sundays chris does "the chris matthews show" on nbc. and on that show he asks his guests for a prediction for the week ahead. and here, courtesy of chris and his producers, is a reason you should go out of your way to
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watch this weekend's "chris matthews show" on nbc. >> welcome back. tell me something i didn't know. >> i got a call this week from a republican congressman seeking to call attention to his efforts to move up the time line for the removal of our troops from afghanistan. now, this may indicate that there's more bipartisan support for that line of thinking than most people may realize. we've had bipartisanship on issue by issue, even in recent times, but not on the broad, general thing. but what this tells me and what people think about, with this in mind, there may be things about which congress can reach some bipartisanship issue by issue as we go along. >> i think a true concerted view is we can only do so much. a true conservative understands limits. how long can we stay in that country? >> exactly. >> the beltway common sense is that nobody can be bothered to care about the war that we're still in. i think the beltway common
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wisdom is getting old and worn out right now. that the iraq and afghanistan veterans dinner for this week for which we played that clip, the main honoree for that dinner was supposed to be general david petraeus. for obvious reasons that did not happen. general petraeus resigned on friday because of his sex scandal. but if one 10th of his attention to his career carries over to the war he last led, that could be enough. his sex scandal has bled over and affected the career path now for the man who is now the commanding general for the war in afghanistan. this week was the confirmation for the new commander of the war in avsz. this week the negotiations started for how long we should stay in afghanistan, and under what circumstances. this week, the main capitol hill proponent of staying in afghanistan forever humiliated himself in misplaced conspiratorial grandstanding and got called out for it on live television by a very confident president who just walloped the next guy from the republican
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party who went up against him after he trounced poor, old senator john mccain who is having a very bad time of it right now. this week the president and the two sides on capitol hill sat down to talk with some urgency about our fiscal future, and finding some places where maybe the spending isn't absolutely necessary. or maybe it isn't justified. at a time when we have 68,000 americans in afghanistan at the cost of $1 million per soldier per year. for two more years? at least? everybody is saying it's impossible that the politics can change the course of the war there. that people just don't care. i think people care. i think that democrats and republicans, even some of them in congress, care. i think this is a door that will open if anyone pushes on it in washington. and now might be the time. or at least now might be the time to find that out. we'll be right back. ♪
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best new thing in the world today. when you are an american diplomat stationed abroad, one of the biggest events in your diplomatic life is, of course, a visit from the president of the united states. the nation of thailand is about to get its very first ever visit ever from a president this weekend, president obama. so the american embassy in bangkok is understandably very excited right now. but they're also disappointed and having a hard time disguising it. they're disappointed because president obama will be visiting thailand but he will not be staying very long. three countries in less than three days. he's not staying long anywhere. but because they can't schedule a whole bunch of official stops for the president to go see all of thailand's most famous sites, the u.s. embassy in thailand came up with another idea. we call it president faux-bama. a life-size cutout of president obama which they have photographed in front of a chinese temple.
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they have done ten of these photos in all. flat president obama posed at famous thai landmarks. even though we initially thought they toted cardboard obama around the country to do this, the state department tells us that actually these are theme park replicas of major landmarks across thailand. so it's faux-bama visiting faux thailand, which is perfect. the american embassy takes a heartwarmingly aggressive approach to courting good will from the locals. in addition to the cardboard president at the famous sites of thailand feature, they have lots of pictures of dogs, which they use to explain dog-related american idioms that might not make sense in translation. so this one is accompanied by an explanation of the phrase dog-eared. this one explains what dog-tired means. although that dog doesn't look very tired. this one explains what sick as a dog means. so we wish the fine folks at the u.s. embassy in bangkok congratulations on their presidential visit and their effort to leverage this visit